EU4Business: Connecting Companies


From 23 to 28 March 2024, a group of 28 film industry representatives from the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries participated in a transformative experience at the 15th edition of the renowned independent film festival, ‘Kino Pavasaris’, held in Lithuania.

This immersive one week experience, an SME Tour to the Meeting Point – Vilnius, organised as a part of the EU4Business: Connecting Companies (EU4BCC) project, offered participants a chance to engage with the global film industry ecosystem. The SME Tour offered not only exposure to cutting-edge independent cinema, but also valuable opportunities for creativity, networking, collaboration, and market expansion.

Attendees actively participated in a range of activities at the festival’s main industry event, Meeting Point – Vilnius. They took part in B2B matchmaking sessions, interacted with relevant local and international stakeholders, and explored grounds for collaboration.

For many, it was a journey that exceeded expectations and left a lasting impression.

“This was my first international film festival experience, and it was enlightening; the passion and determination of the attendees inspired me and gave me valuable insights into the film industry. I left feeling grateful for the experience and more focused on my own creative goals.” Diana Rusu, filmmaker, Moldova.

Most of the participants took part in the Talents Point section, tailored for young and emerging talents seeking to advance their projects and careers. This section provided a diverse array of workshops, masterclasses, work-in-progress sessions, and previews of upcoming projects. Moreover, participants benefited from personalised approaches to address their specific needs, with a special focus on facilitating one-on-one meetings to foster meaningful connections.

“During the time I spent in beautiful Vilnius, I met like-minded people with whom I will develop relationships in the future. I found that my experience is interesting and important to them, and their experience is very interesting to me.” Ivan Sautkin, director and cinematographer, Ukraine.

Beyond networking, Meeting Point Vilnius provided a platform for SMEs and freelancers to showcase their work to a diverse and international audience. This exposure not only expanded market reach but also attracted potential clients and partners, enabling them to connect with distributors, investors, and fellow creatives, thereby paving the way for international collaborations and deals.

As one of the highlights of the festival, one of the participants of the SME Tour, Hanna Burdina, a producer from Ukraine, presented a project (“Quiet War,” a documentary directed by Lana Shapoval, produced by Hanna Burdina and Lana Shapoval, under the company Independent Cultural Initiatives) at the Work in Progress pitching session. The project won three awards: (1) No Problemo Music Music Licensing Award, (2) Marche du Film (2 x MDF / Producers Network Badge), and (3) Ji.hlava New Visions Award.

Moreover, attendees gained valuable insights into industry trends and emerging opportunities through screenings, panel discussions, and workshops on various topics, including on the usage of the AI. These equipped them with the knowledge and strategies needed to remain competitive and innovative in a rapidly evolving landscape.

“I gained extensive knowledge about the preproduction and postproduction processes within the industry, which have made me more aware, comfortable, and confident in my work. Additionally, it helped me overcome my fear of sharing my work and ideas with others, marking a significant turning point at the beginning of my journey.” Nina Eradze, actress and future director, Georgia.

The tour was more than just a cinematic adventure – it was a catalyst for growth, collaboration, and inspiration. For SMEs and freelancers in the film industry, it was a transformative experience that unlocked new horizons and set the stage for future success.